1944: Fiona Denning has her entire future planned out. She’ll work in city hall, marry her fiancé when he returns from the war, and settle down in the Boston suburbs. But when her fiancé is reported missing after being shot down in Germany, Fiona’s long-held plans are shattered.
Determined to learn her fiancé’s fate, Fiona leaves Boston to volunteer overseas as a Red Cross Clubmobile girl, recruiting her two best friends to come along. There’s the outspoken Viviana, who is more than happy to quit her secretarial job for a taste of adventure. Then there’s Dottie, a shy music teacher whose melodious talents are sure to bring heart and hope to the boys on the front lines.
Chosen for their inner strength and outer charm, the trio isn’t prepared for the daunting challenges of war. But through it all come new friendships and romances, unforeseen dangers, and unexpected dreams. As the three friends begin to understand the real reasons they all came to the front, their courage and camaraderie will see them through some of the best and worst times of their lives.
INTERVIEW WITH JANE HEALEY
In the latter part of WWII, the morale of the U.S. military was so low, the Red Cross came up with the idea of Red Cross Clubs on wheels (aka clubmobiles), so they could bring “a bit of home” to the front lines of the war. I’ve had the privilege of reading hundreds of letters and diaries of these girls (really, women) who staffed the clubmobiles. Their bravery, compassion, strength and sense of humor in the face of constant danger was nothing short of extraordinary.
As with my other novels, I put in a lot of time researching the characters and events that inspired The Beantown Girls. I spent a lot of time at the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. The library is here in Boston and its mission is to documents the lives of women of the past and present. The library’s archive has a ton of real letters shared by and with the Red Cross girls.
I did a blog post with some of my favorite sources for aspiring authors. View it here.
THE BEANTOWN GIRLS EVENTS
Join me at the Wright Museum. I’ll be there to discuss the historical research that went into the #1 Amazon and Washington Post bestseller Beantown Girls, highlighting the wide and varied role of the Red Cross during WWII. Tickets – $10.00, $5.00 for museum members
In this webinar, I present an in-depth look at the experiences of some of the real Red Cross Clubmobile Girls in Europe in December 1944. I talk about the events before, during and after Christmas 1944, including Glen Miller’s secret concerts and heartbreaking disappearance. Finally, I also share the more details about the Battle of the Bulge, including more details about the incredible true story of the Christmas Eve dinner between German and American soldiers in a Belgian family’s cabin in the woods.